New Leadership for Breakthrough Institute Climate and Energy Program, New Nuclear Energy Innovation Program, Professor Patrick Brown Joins Breakthrough Institute

Today we say goodbye to one leader, and welcome three new ones.

Berkeley, Calif.Zeke Hausfather will be leaving Breakthrough Institute to join the climate team at Stripe as their climate research lead. Seaver Wang, a PhD oceanographic scientist who joined Breakthrough with Hausfather in 2019, and Patrick Brown, a professor of Meteorology & Climate Science at San Jose State who will join Breakthrough in June, will be taking over as co-directors of the Climate and Energy Program. Brown will also retain an adjunct faculty position at Johns Hopkins University in the Energy Policy and Climate program and will continue on in this role while at Breakthrough.

Over the last two and a half years, Wang has led Breakthrough’s work on energy policy in East Asia and industrial requirements for global decarbonization. Brown is an expert on the economic impact of weather and climate extremes as well as their attribution to human activity. Adam Stein, currently the Climate and Energy Program’s Associate Director, will become Director of Breakthrough’s new Nuclear Energy Innovation Program. Stein, a PhD nuclear engineer, joined Breakthrough in 2021 after working in a variety of roles across the advanced nuclear engineering and policy space.

“Like Jesse Jenkins and Jessica Lovering before him, Zeke has led groundbreaking research and analysis and kept our work on the cutting edge of climate and energy science,” said founder and executive director Ted Nordhaus. “Zeke helped take Breakthrough mainstream and guided his program through a period of tremendous growth. I wish him luck in his new endeavor and look forward to supporting Seaver, Patrick, and Adam as they continue to build on the pragmatic, evidence-based, and optimistic approach to environmental challenges that Zeke has contributed so much to.”

Hausfather will be continuing on as a Sr. Fellow for the organization, joining a number of other leading climate scientists and IPCC authors, including Tom Wigley, David Lea, Joyashree Roy, and Taishi Sugiyama.

“While sad to be leaving Breakthrough, I’m thrilled to be embarking on my next adventure leading climate research at Stripe,” said Zeke Hausfather, former director of the Climate & Energy program. “I’m incredibly proud of my work over the past couple of years and will be eagerly following the work of Seaver and Patrick closely as they take the reins. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with Breakthrough in my new role as a Sr. Fellow.”

“All of us in the Climate and Energy program have learned an immeasurable amount from Zeke and are deeply grateful for his leadership over the past two and a half years,” said Seaver Wang, co-director of the Climate & Energy program. “As climate and energy issues only continue to grow in importance, I am excited to see what Patrick and I can accomplish alongside the highly capable team that Zeke has built.”

“Zeke has been a tremendous colleague and I wish him well in his new role,” said Adam Stein, the new Director for Nuclear Energy Innovation. ”As this next chapter at Breakthrough unfolds, I’m eager to lead a program focused on the potential and barriers in the way of the next generation of nuclear technology, which is essential for deep decarbonization of our energy system.”

“I’m incredibly excited to join the Breakthrough Institute to co-lead the Climate & Energy program with Seaver Wang," said Patrick Brown, incoming co-director of the Climate & Energy program. “I look forward to working with the brilliant team of analysts and researchers while building upon the exceptional and groundbreaking research that has made Breakthrough a leader in climate science research."